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Bill would allow over-the-counter insulin sales in Indiana

Indiana measure looks at over-the-counter insulin

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — State lawmakers made a move Thursday that could let people buy insulin over the counter.

Nyle Essex, 19, injects himself with up to six insulin shots every single day.

“I always have to have my testing stuff on me. I always have to have like extra sweets or something like that just in case I get low,” said Essex, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, on Thursday.

Nyle, whose father, Richard, works at WISH-TV, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was just 10 years old.

“I can’t really just go out and eat and do whatever I want. I have to pay attention to things at all times,” Nyle Essex said.

Like his blood-sugar levels and everything he eats or drinks.

His mother, Connie, will tell you, the diagnosis was terrifying at first. “We were faced with it just being a scary lifetime (of) treatments. I think in some ways we were just scared we were going to lose him, with the Type 1 diabetes. But, he has done very well with it.”

The medicine can be very expensive, sometimes costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars even with insurance.

“We’re already having a child that could possibly die from his symptoms if not taken care of. So that gives us hardly any opportunity to help him stay well, if we’re not able to afford insulin,” Connie Essex said.

On Thursday, House lawmakers unanimously approved a bill that would let you buy basic human insulin over the counter in the same way you’d buy Tylenol or Advil, without a prescription.

State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, a Republican from Beech Grove, sponsored the bill. She said, “We want to make sure they do consult with a health care professional so that they administer the right amount of insulin, and, further, it will keep costs low for them.”

Nyle’s mother said the bill could save someone’s life. “They cannot live without it. So there would be many lives lost if they weren’t able to get their insulin.”

Nyle Essex said, “I guess this would be less of a good thing for people who aren’t as responsible.”